September 29, 1973. Saturday Evening.
On Being Punctual and Finishing What We Start
Ven. Master Hua
All monastics and laypeople alike must follow the rules and respect themselves. Donít look down on yourselves. People who have no self-respect will misbehave. People who respect themselves will abide by the rules.
People who wish to bow the Great Compassion Repentance should arrive at the monastery fifteen minutes before the ceremony is due to begin. Whenever there is a Dharma assembly in the bodhimanda, whether it is a sutra lecture or some other Dharma event, people should arrive before it begins, not in the middle of the event. Donít procrastinate. You should do a complete job of things; donít do thing half-way. If you do things completely, your merit will also be full and perfect. If you only attend half, you will only have half the merit. There should be a beginning and an end. In other words, finish what you start. If you attend from the beginning and stay until the end, then your merit will be complete. For example, if you want to listen to the sutra lecture, you should also attend the evening recitation preceding the lecture. Thatís the complete way to do it.
When the sutra lectures are moved to Washington Street, lay people who donít have cars can take the bus wagon from Gold Mountain Monastery. People who have cars can give rides to those who donít. We should all help one another out. Everyone should understand this. We should benefit ourselves and benefit others, enlighten ourselves and enlighten others, liberate ourselves and liberate others.
Timely Teachings, page 154.